The building is configured as a volumetric transition that harmonizes the adjacent dissimilar buildings: on one side, a two-storey house aligned to the street and on other side, a three storey building  set back from the street. The result is a series of volumes that provide continuity to cornices and alignments with the immediate surroundings. The program comprises a house for a family and a small office in the basement, arranged in a total of five floors with a small occupation area. Patios, planters, terraces and balconies of various kinds accompany the volumes.
The basic construction materials, clay and wood, not only merge with the traditional immediate environment but, above all, aim to incorporate all the qualities of a matter that has accompanied mankind from very old times (hygrothermal comfort , haptic and energetic properties, etc.).
The structure is made out of walls and slabs of cross-laminated timber. It frames the different spaces between the adjacent buildings creating floors and ceilings, defining the north-south axis that crosses de house. The façades on those sides are permeable to win light and views.
Outside, the ceramic envelope provides an elaborate repertoire for every need and requirement (ventilated façade and cover, fixed and mobile louvers and skylights, etc.). Each detail seeks to ensure material continuity and provides an apparent simplicity.
The different character of the two façades responds not only to the marked north-south orientation of the plot, but the uneven condition of the public space of the street and the private ambience of the interior gardens of the block; requiring a range of relationships mediated through architectural devices (fixed and mobile louvers, blinds, openings, etc.) safeguarding fundamental features of a housing program (diversity of scales and uses, antagonisms between views and privacy, optimization of sunlight, etc.) . In a similar fashion, traditional materials (clay and wood) are used in contemporary and constructive formats where they offer their best performances. Thus, the formal language of simple gestures seeks to solve the housing program without betraying its inevitable complexity.


calle juan valera nº 16
madrid – spain
project 2011 – construction 2013-2014


private comission


elena orte
guillermo sevillano


bárbara rodríguez. architect
luis quintano. architect
rita álvarez-tabío. intern
raúl maximiliano. intern
jesús huerga. structure engineer
miguel nevado. timber structure engineer
nuria sáiz. quantity surveyor
jesús granada. photos


diezma rosell construcciones s.l.- contractor
KLH. contra laminated timber structure